OpenSea introduces Deals, monthly trading volumes slump 96% from January 2022

OpenSea introduces Deals, monthly trading volumes slump 96% from January 2022

Reports on July 21 reveal that OpenSea, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, has introduced a new feature called Deals, allowing users to trade NFTs for other NFTs or Ethereum (ETH). 

Powered by Seaport, an NFT protocol, OpenSea said Deals offer users a more flexible and secure way to trade NFTs directly on the platform.

The introduction of Deals comes as NFT trading volumes have seen a significant decline in recent months. Factors such as the overall bearish trend in the cryptocurrency market and increased competition from other NFT marketplaces have decreased NFT trading activity. 

As of June 22, Dune data shows that OpenSea’s average monthly trading volumes stood at roughly $161 million, a deep slump from the over $4.8 billion registered in January 2022.

Throughout 2022, crypto prices tanked. For instance, the flagship cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, slipped from as high as $$69,000 recorded in Q4 2021 to below $16,000 when FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2022. 

Subsequently, the depressed market conditions dragged NFT and decentralized finance (DeFi) activity to record levels. The floor price of leading NFT collections, including CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), collapsed by over 80% as of July 2022.

Besides unfavorable market conditions, OpenSea faced challenges when an employee, Nathaniel Chastain, was arrested for insider trading in June 2022. Chastain pleaded guilty to the charges, was sentenced to three months in prison, and fined $75,000. The incident has impacted OpenSea’s reputation and raised discussions about potential regulatory measures in the NFT market.

As the NFT market evolves, OpenSea aims to address the declining trading volumes and rebuild trust among its user base. Introducing Deals may provide users a more efficient and secure way to continue trading NFTs on the platform. Still, the recovery of the NFT market remains uncertain.

In April, OpenSea was valued at $3 billion, down from $13 billion during the NFT mania of 2021. At the same time, Tiger Global decreased its OpenSea equity from $126 million to around $30 billion. In 2022, the venture firm invested $300 million in OpenSea’s Serie C investment round. 

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